Dear OCD…

Posted: May 10, 2011 in OCD
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

There’s fighting and then there’s fighting. They’re related, sure, but they’re just not the same thing. Much like the difference between penicillin and Penicillium, one amounts to medicine, and the other is just nasty mold. I dig me some medicine, but I could do without the mold.

You see, fighting is perseverance. It’s determination. It’s a never-say-die attitude. It’s pushing past obstacles to reach a goal. It’s achievement. It’s triumph. It’s a good thing.

Fighting, on the other hand, is pugilism. It’s pointless arguing. It’s willful ignorance. It’s a knee-jerk negative reaction buried in mountains of rationalizations and logical sleight-of-hand. It’s blind. It’s stubborn. It’s a bad thing.

Why do I bring this up? Because I like fighting, but I don’t like fighting. And thanks to you (and sometimes Depression), I’m often fighting instead of fighting. The brutal irony, of course, is that fighting drains so much energy that there’s very little left for fighting. Too much suck = not enough awesome. It’s science, dude. 

As the graph clearly demonstrates.

HA! You thought I’d never figure that one out, didn’t you? You thought I’d assume it’s just who I am. “Oh, Bezuidenthustra, you’re just that kind of guy. You like to argue. Fuck them all for hating on that shit.” Well, not so, OCD! Fighting isn’t part of who I am, it’s something I do. And here at Bezuidenthustra Labs we’ve now analyzed the exact mechanism by which you control this particular behavior. (And then we fed our test subject some cookies as a reward. Mmmm… cookies…) An excerpt:

“On the Obsessive-Compulsive Control Mechanism for Fighting” 

An Objective Analysis Completely Unrelated to Delicious Cookies

Underlying Rule: Necessity for perfection — particularly consistency and completion — including projecting that expectation onto others.

Manifest Obsessions: 1. Strict adherence to sources studied in the past, regardless of source integrity or developments within discourse. 2. Direct and strong — but demonstrably flawed — positive correlation between knowledge and intelligence. 3. Fundamental desire to overtly prove intelligence as validation of self (AKA Knowitall’s Constant). 4. MUST. WIN. AT. EVERYTHING. ALWAYS. (AKA Insufferable Perfectionist Asshole Syndrome or IPAS.)

Primary Anxiety: Fear of imperfection (particularly inconsistency and incompletion).

Related Anxieties: 1. Fear of looking like an idiot. 2. Fear of looking like an ass. 3. Fear of sounding ignorant. 4. Fear of sounding pompous and/or arrogant. 5. Fear of not sounding pompous and/or arrogant enough. 6. Deeply ironic fear of looking like a know-it-all. 7. Fear of in-group judgement. 8. Fear of external judgement. 9. Nobody ever reads the ninth entry in a list. 10. Fear of self-judgement. 11. Fear of appearing mediocre. 12. Fear of losing. 13. Fear of appearing weak. [etc.]

Anxiety-Dispelling Compulsion: Make unnecessary informative statement or publicly question claim(s). If confronted or questioned, entrench position; rationalize discrepancies and obfuscate vague claims with complex logic where appropriate; misdirect with snark or dodgy sources; browbeat when possible.

Ironic Anxiety-Producing Effects: Blind entrenchment ensures the subject feels ignorant and/or insecure about actual knowledge of subject discussed. The subject also feels concerned about in-group/external judgement related to acerbic snark and browbeating and therefore engages in constant self-judgement. Since the subject cannot stop thinking about these effects, they strengthen the manifest obsessions and are therefore part of a positive feedback loop.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still all for standing firm on an important point. I’m passionate about certain things and I will defend them. As time passes I become more acutely aware of the validity and strength of my resources, and I do like to debate. But debating isn’t fighting. Debating is dialogue, while fighting is dumb dismissal.

I’ll probably always suffer at least a little bit from IPAS, but now that I’ve broken your code, I can at least tone it down several orders of magnitude. I’m on the lookout for those manifest obsessions, and I’m going to keep chipping away at that underlying rule. Nothing beats Bezuidenthustra Labs Mental Rootkit when it comes to eradicating pesky OCD codes. Suck on that, fuckface.

Hey, snark’s still useful sometimes. But right now I’m fighting, not fighting, so it’s all good. And I’m going to keep fighting against fighting. It’s totally going to turn frantic fists into fluffy flowers.

Okay, probably not. But I’m not all that into fluffy flowers anyway, so HA! Go suck a moldy egg, bitch!

Scientifically yours,

  1. Sanka says:

    Your best entry yet. Incredibly insightful and lots of hard work behind this one, folks.

  2. Bezsnr says:

    Now I am starting to know why I am like I am.

  3. SuperKruper says:

    Fascinating. I see myself in these observations. Thank you.

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